by Friedrich Christian Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe
Part 6 – The system of slander
Certainly, all these are only small and isolated excerpts. They are just what I am able to recount from personal experience. But nevertheless – or perhaps, because of that – it shows, I think, what the people were really like before and right after May 8, 1945. From my own experience alone, I could give many more, similar accounts that show our people and all who belonged to it in a much better light than almost all of those who participated in the post-war incitement and slander have ever shown them.
A single individual may commit a crime. Abominable child-murderers are handled with kid gloves nowadays. One of the worst ever, Jürgen Bartsch, was even permitted to get married in prison, complete with a minister’s services, with wedding feast, guests and champagne.
But a nation of 60 million souls, plucked out of the midst of its peaceful Revolution, its labours of reconstruction, its sense of community and contentment attained at long last, and forced more or less anonymously into a Second World War – such a nation must be cursed as “criminal” for decades, must remain fair game for slander and blackmail whenever someone feels like making some more enormous profits – a nation to whom all of mankind has owed an immense debt of gratitude for a millennium and even longer!!! No – things cannot go on like that! They must not! It does not benefit anyone in all the world – except the riffraff scoundrels who perpetuate the process.
It seems there is not a single bad trait that has not been alleged against our people at one time or another. This fact alone is proof that these allegations are mainly lies, for a people with none other than bad qualities does not exist, never has existed, is not provided for in the order of this world, and would not fit in.
As early as the 1920s and 1930s, we tried to find out which circles all this malice and mendacity originate in. We soon found that there is a method behind it. We noticed that the attacks are generally directed against individual persons, specifically against particular traits or characteristics of those persons; traits or characteristics which often were or are not even in fact present, but which are imputed to these people because doing so seems to be the only way to attack them.
For example, it was claimed that Adolf Hitler was a Czech. This trick was so successful that even the German President, Field Marshal von Hindenburg, was convinced of the truth of this assertion right until the day he first met Hitler. It was not until conversation had progressed for some time that Hindenburg began to wonder, and finally asked Hitler outright. The matter was cleared up easily enough: there is a town called Braunau in Czechoslovakia as well as in Upper Austria. The latter was Adolf Hitler’s birthplace, but he was simply called “a Czech by birth”. The town of Braunau in the so-called “Land of Braunau” is called Broumov in Czech, and always numbered many Germans among its population of 8,000. Braunau in Upper Austria, on the other hand, has a population of more than 12,000, and is an ancient German town. Even if Hitler had been born in Broumov he could very well have been of German descent, especially as there is nothing at all Czech about his name, which sounds typically Austrian. For decades now, however, this one downright absurd lie has done a great deal of harm to Hitler’s reputation as well as to that of the German people, who allegedly sold themselves to “a Czech”.
About three years ago, a major German daily, the Wiesbadener Kurier, published a front-page article and photograph claiming that during the Second World War the government of the German Reich had offered a bounty of 60,000 marks for the sinking of the huge British passenger ship “Queen Mary”. I was outraged at such a lie and demanded to be told where this report had originated. The Wiesbadener Kurier informed me that the report had come from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), via the dpa (German Press Agency). I asked the highest officer of the Federal Marine, the chief officer in the Department of the Navy in the Federal Ministry of the Armed Forces, as well as Grand Admiral Dönitz to comment on this claim. All three assured me in writing that the German Navy had never offered monetary rewards for any purpose. All three officers rejected this report as outright fabrication.
I did not need any better proof than that. I informed the Wiesbadener Kurier of these findings and asked the editorial staff to immediately print a retraction in the same conspicuous place they had accorded their initial story, and to publish the truth. They told me that they would be willing to publish my statement as a letter to the editor, on my own responsibility. They themselves, however, would not take any action in the matter, since the report had originated with the BBC and had come to them via dpa.
In the course of a trip abroad, a high-ranking German diplomat once told me and my wife in great detail how terribly he had been made to suffer under Hitler’s tyranny until, in a specified year, he had determined to emigrate and, thank God, had thus been spared the worst. We did not believe him, and later my wife and I calculated how old the man would have been at the time he had allegedly had to suffer so terribly under Hitler’s regime: he had been about six years old at the time! –
Once, in the second half of the war, I had been called to report to the Chief of Staff of the SA in the Reich Chancellery, and was asked to wait in the adjutancy. I was in the midst of a conversation with the Head of the Adjutancy, SA Gruppenführer Girgensohn, when a good-looking officer came in and was greeted enthusiastically by the Gruppenführer. The officer was introduced to me and I learned that even before 1933, when he was a young officer in the German army, he had been reprimanded for marching, in uniform and with a swastika flag, at the head of an SA demonstration. When this officer was speaking to the Chief of Staff while I still had to wait, I learned that he was designated for a position in the Adjutancy because he was considered to be the most National-Socialist of the younger officers!
This was Count Stauffenberg, who later attempted to kill Hitler with a bomb in his quarters “Wolfsschanze”. As we know, Hitler survived, but several high-ranking officers and civilians were injured or killed. Hitler arranged for the Chief of Police, General Dr. Martin, Head of the SS Unit for Central Franconia, to convey his (Hitler’s) condolences to Count Stauffenberg’s widow or mother – I think it was his mother – and had her presented with a huge bouquet of flowers. And since there was a great deal of outrage amongst the people against Count Stauffenberg, Hitler even ordered a guard for the protection of the family. Dr. Martin later recounted this to me in great detail in the prison camp of Hersbruck.
Enemy propaganda during and campaigns of slander after the war chose the SA as their preferential target – that organization, of all possible choices, whose members were trained to be exceptionally self-disciplined and which turned millions of men from the working class, and particularly Social-Democrats and Communists, from enemies into friends and comrades through personal conviction and sacrifice and personal moral decency. I can say this quite freely, because I witnessed it myself for years. I know that with the exception of a vanishingly few fellow-travellers, spies and agents provocateurs planted by the enemy, the SA had practically nothing at all to do with the 1938 persecution of the Jews. And those who were proved to have had a part in it were punished with especial severity, on Hitler’s express orders.
The exemplary nature of the SA was brought home to me most vividly at the NSDAP Party Convention in Nuremberg in 1929. Hitler was in the Hall of the Cultural Association, giving his programmatic address to some 1,500 members of the Party and the SA, when suddenly we heard a tremendous uproar outside. Only a few minutes later we saw the great heavy door being burst open with brute force. Most of the people in the auditorium stood up to see what was going on behind them. Hitler called out, with striking calm: “Party comrades – what’s happening back there isn’t nearly as important as what I have to say up here. Please sit down again, listen to me and leave all the rest to our SA.”
And indeed everyone resumed their seats and Hitler continued his address as though nothing had happened. Those who had forced their way into the Hall were several hundred Communists, under the leadership of the infamous criminal Max Hölz; as they themselves couldn’t proclaim loudly enough, they had come from Berlin with the express purpose of turning the entire NSDAP Party Convention “into one huge blood-bath”! But the SA formed an impenetrable wall against them, so solid that all the Communists were slowly but surely crowded out of the Hall, and ultimately out of the building altogether.
It would have been easy enough to beat these Communists to a pulp – except that the SA was forbidden to do so. They had to let themselves be punched – and the only recourse open to them was to muster up even more resolution to crowd the enemy out. – Following this incident, Hitler sent his Dr. Goebbels to drive through the streets of Nuremberg in order to reinforce to the SA everywhere that such self-discipline was absolutely essential. There was one casualty and several wounded – albeit only in the ranks of the SA!
At the funeral of Herbert Norkus, the Hitler Youth murdered by the Marxists in Berlin in 1932, I witnessed how the Communists perching close by on a wall threw large and heavy rocks at us, especially at Dr. Goebbels and those accompanying him. Goebbels gritted his teeth and whispered to us: “Stand still, don’t so much as blink an eye, don’t let them provoke you!” Each of us passed the message on to the next. Everyone acted accordingly: if they had not, the situation would have degenerated into a massive blood-bath. Afterwards, when we marched off through the Reddest part of Berlin, singing our battle songs, many of the Communists joined us, and marched and sang along with us.
In political as well as spiritual terms, Hitler’s Revolution was a comprehensive one, if not one of the greatest – and unique in its degree of discipline. That was the key by which it gained power. It was the factor that set it most clearly apart from its rivals. That is why the slander of our German past is nowhere as brutal as where it attempts to deny this discipline, to erase it from the memory of us Germans. Such discipline has as its prerequisite an unsurpassably strong faith – and the slanderers are well aware of this. Such a faith could easily rise again, even without any Hitler or National-Socialism – simply based on the legitimacy of nature, for example.
When Count Helldorf, Chief of Police of Greater Berlin, reported in detail to the Gauleiter of Greater Berlin after the so-called “Kristallnacht”, I happened to witness their conversation without their knowledge.
Count Helldorf reported that only very few Party members had participated in the ransacking of Jewish stores and the mistreatment of Jews. And most of these few had only done so because they had been incited to it, namely by Communists disguised as SA-men. Goebbels’ answer was: “Helldorf – I tell you, one of these days this madness will cost us a million dead soldiers!”
It is not true that Hitler wanted the “Kristallnacht” to happen. On the contrary; he and Goebbels repeatedly made some very long and heated telephone calls that night in attempts to forestall any acts of violence, abuse or plundering. I know this from a gentleman from the Press Department of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda who was on duty at the telephone switchboard that night and listened in on these calls out of understandable curiosity. He took some notes, recording what he heard.
Apart from this evidence, there can certainly be no doubt that Hitler, Goebbels, Göring etc. were at least smart enough to know that it would be downright suicidal to make an arch-enemy of world Jewry – especially if there is nothing one needs as badly as a long and stable time of peace. It is impossible to carry out a revolution in wartime! And the Revolution was everything to Hitler – meant to save the German people as well as the Reich! It had originated in the terrible consequences of the First World War, and in the protest against these consequences. Risking a new war right in the midst of the realization of this Revolution would have been begging for trouble. But his foremost aim was to achieve his goals without the danger of war! A man such as Julius Streicher certainly thought differently on this matter, but one can blame neither the Party nor the people, and least of all Adolf Hitler, for that.
Institutions are worth only as much as the people that represent them. One who wants to write history must not judge people by actions, but rather the actions by the people. The more that materialism has come to be established, the less attention has been paid to the people – and the more to their “achievements”. Anyone who wants to judge actions by the people, however, must personally know the people in question and must have experienced them from the perspective of an independent observer. He must not try to judge on the basis of an intent or of political tactics, but solely for the purpose of doing justice to the truth!
The pre-war, wartime and most of all the post-war vilification of the German people and their past has as little to do with truth as it has to do with honor – it served, and continues to serve, the exclusive purpose of preparation for a Third World War, in the event that it should once again turn out that the German nation has not been broken forever.